December 12, 2016
When the Grade 5 teachers at St. Luke School (Nepean) began brainstorming a science project for their students to cover the science curriculum "Forces Acting on Structures and Mechanisms" they had no idea that the project would turn into an opportunity for students to live out the OCSB's Spiritual Theme, Sent to be the Good News. But that's exactly what happened.
One of the teachers came across a video about the Little Free Pantry movement. The Little Free Pantry is a community tool where those who are able leave foodstuffs and other items, and those in need are free to take what's been left. Not only would this allow the students to build a stable structure, effectively covering the science curriculum, but it would also give them a chance to make a difference in their school community for many years to come. After discussing it with their students, they decided to move forward with the project.
The Little Free Pantry project started with each student using what they've learned to design their own pantry. The students then evaluated each design and voted on which one would be used. They then raised funds for the project by writing letters to companies requesting donations. Their letters helped them get a $50 donation from Home Depot and a custom metal roof from Premier Home Improvements. The students even explored the Gospel values associated with their Little Free Pantry project in religion class. Currently, they're even working on commercials, print ads, and radio announcements to further promote it.
The Little Free Pantry currently sits outside St. Luke School (Nepean) so those in need can readily access its contents anonymously. It's paired with their logo, which incorporates the Little Free Pantry's motto, "Take what you need, leave what you can," and the OCSB's Spiritual Theme, Sent to be the Good News.
At the Ottawa Catholic School Board, we’ve been implementing Deep Learning practices in our schools, encouraging students to explore, create, and use knowledge in a broader context that’s connected to real-world purposes. The entire OCSB community is very proud of St. Luke Nepean for taking this curriculum-related project and turning it into an opportunity to be the Good News for others in their community.
See our Facebook album for more photos!
By Maricarmen (Gr. 8 Student)
This year Maryvale Academy was honoured to receive the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, who celebrated Mass and spoke to the students and families. This was an extraordinary visit as the Papal Nuncio is the representative of the Pope in Canada.
Every class put their hearts into the preparation for this great event. The grade one and two class memorized a poem, as did the grade three and four class. The grade five and six class prepared their classroom to host the lunch, and grades seven and eight made a banner welcoming his Excellency in two languages, Italian and English.
Upon Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi’s entrance, the choir, made up of students in grades three to eight, sang “Vivat” for him. This is a special song reserved for only the Archbishop, Auxiliary Bishop and the Papal Nuncio. After this hymn the students recited their poems, and his Excellency remarked that he liked to memorize poems as well; when asked if he would recite one, he did so in Italian. His poem was about a mother presenting her son to God on his day of judgement and begging for his salvation. During this recitation his Excellency shed a few tears, as he had forewarned.
Shortly before Mass the Apostolic Nuncio talked to the younger students from kindergarten to grade two, and after Mass there was a reception with refreshments where the families and adults were able to talk with his Excellency.
During Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi’s visit, his love for God shone through and he was always
joking, smiling and laughing. His friendliness endeared him to all. It was a joy for Maryvale Academy to have him visit.
By Mr. Skulski (French teacher)
It's not every day that one gets to meet an international dignitary, especially one whose job it is to select future bishops. Calling it an extraordinary day would be no exaggeration, as the Papal Nuncio in Canada, Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, does not visit all the Catholic schools by default. Upon having been notified of His Excellency's desire to come visit, all Maryvale cogs engaged to provide a very convivial and endearing atmosphere, from the Vivat and artistic banners, to the sumptuous wine and cheese, to my own grade ones and twos singing their favourite tune. Perhaps the moment that struck the most noteworthy chord in my heart was the oath of fidelity to the Magisterium. I was told to memorize it. And I did so, un-begrudgingly. But the memorization yielded a special fruit; a memory- of a steadfast heart united with fearless brothers and sisters leading lovable little saints to heaven, all by God's grace.
By Ashley Driver (Parent)
To have the privilege of the representative of the Holy See, the Papal Nuncio in Canada, come to celebrate mass at my children’s school was a wonderful opportunity for us as a family.
During His Excellency's visit, it became clear to me that he wanted to spend time with and meet the children. He was so generous with his time and was only too happy to bless my children (and me!) along with many others. He was cheerful and kind also to my toddler daughter who took a shine to him!
His visit, I feel, will really encourage the ongoing spiritual formation of both the families and the teachers of Maryvale Academy. As a new family to this school, we could not have hoped for a more inspiring beginning! Thank you so much for visiting us Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi!
While almost every Catholic school has a patron saint, not every Catholic school celebrates the feast day of their patron saint with the gusto of St. Francis Xavier Catholic High School in Hammond, Ontario.
Each year, on December 3, the students and staff at the school dispense with the usual activities of the school day and participate in a special celebration to honour their patron saint.
The day begins by busing the entire school community to the local church, Sacre-Coeur, in Bourget, Ontario. In this lovely country parish, and with the beautiful singing from our school’s liturgical choir setting the ambiance, the community gathers for the Mass of St. Francis Xavier.
This year the celebrant was Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, Archbishop of Ottawa, who was joined by several local priests who concelebrated the mass. Also at the Mass was Superintendent, Tom Jordan, Trustee, Sue Wilson, the principals and students from the three feeder schools, and many parents.
The readings for the day were proclaimed by Grade 12 students, and the Archbishop followed the readings with a wonderful reflection on the life and significance of St. Francis Xavier, who was born in Spain in 1506 and is a co-founder of the Jesuit order in Europe. He is also the saintly patron of many Catholic institutions around the world.
It is a fortunate coincidence that, like St. Francis, Archbishop Prendergast is also a priest of the Jesuit order. The Archbishop’s fondness for St. Francis Xavier became obvious thorough his words of praise and his extensive knowledge of the saint.
After the Mass, the whole school community walked to the Bourget community centre for a festive lunch. Served by the teachers and members of the local Knights of Columbus, a full turkey meal was provided that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
After a relaxing meal the students were shuttled back to the school for an afternoon of games and other fun activities. The feast day of St. Francis Xavier is a whole day of celebration. On this day the schools take time to pray, reflect, eat, and remember, as a community, the special significance of the school patron. It is a tradition that will continue for many years to come.